Listen up BBQ lovers! You gotta try some rib tips at least once in your life – they’re juicy, mouthwatering, and finger-licking good! If you’re a fan of cookouts, then smother these tender, flavorful bites in BBQ sauce for a crowd-pleasing recipe.
As the summer grilling season approaches, I’m getting hyped for classic Southern cookouts with grilled veggies, cornbread, potato salad, sweet tea, baked beans, and most importantly, LOTS of ribs! The secret to tender, flavorful, and juicy ribs is the perfect dry rub and slow cooking. And of course, you can’t forget the generous slather of BBQ sauce for good measure!
What are pork rib tips?
They’re the meaty, cartilage-rich end portions of pork spare ribs and a delicacy in Southern BBQ culture. If you cook them just right, you’ll fall in love with the sweet, smoky flavors and fall-off-the-bone texture. Grilling rib tips is my preferred method, but you can also bake them to achieve a similar flavor and texture. No more waiting for the grilling season!
Serve your rib tips with extra BBQ sauce and sides like collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw for a mouthwatering meal. And if you’re hosting a party, end the night with a juicy dessert like peach cobbler or peach crisp.
- Rib tips: Pork rib tips are so wonderful when super tender and melt in your mouth. Head to your local grocery store or butcher shop to find them.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness to the bold flavors of the spices we use here. It helps balance it all.
- Dry rub seasonings: I’m all about those big, bold, smoky flavors like onion powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and smoked paprika. But don’t be afraid to switch it up with some Creole or blackened seasoning, hot paprika, cayenne, pepper, or mustard powder.
- Cooking spray: To keep your ribs from sticking and to make sure that dry rub sticks to them, use some cooking spray or a thin layer of vegetable oil with a high smoke point.
- BBQ sauce: And for that final basting, use your fave store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce. Mix it up and try out some different flavors like honey, bourbon, or spicy varieties to find what you like best.
How to Make Pork Rib Tips
To begin the recipe, I like to rinse and pat them dry first and make sure the excess membrane is also removed.
Apply your dry rub and let them marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Then, grill or bake them low and slow until they’re tender and juicy.
Rest your ribs before chopping them into small pieces making them pork rib tips and serving them with your favorite sides.
Leftovers? No problem. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or wrap them tightly and freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat them in the oven, on the grill, or even in an air fryer for a quick and convenient option. Plus, you can marinate your rib tips ahead of time and freeze them until you’re ready to grill. Now, get ready for some delicious rib tips, y’all!
Pork Rib Tips
- 4 lbs pork ribs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- oil cooking spray
- Your fave bbq sauce for basting
- Properly rinse rib tips and pat dry with paper towels. Remove the membrane or extra skin if there is any on the tips.
- In a plastic bag, shake together brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper until combined.
- Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil and lay the rib tips on top. Make sure the foil is longer than the rib tips.
- Spray the outside of the ribs with oil spray then massage dry rub into each side of the ribs.
- Cover the ribs with the foil and wrap tightly then store in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Make sure to properly oil the grates of the grill so the meat won’t stick.
- Once the grill is ready and hot, place the ribs bone side down on the grill over indirect heat. Grill covered for an 1 ½ hours then turn them over and grill for an additional 1 ½ hours still over indirect heat.
- Make sure you are checking every now and again on the ribs to make sure they don’t stick or burn if they get close to direct heat. After 3 hours or so, the ribs should be super tender. If not, continue for an additional 30 minutes. The ribs should have an internal temperature of 145°F.
- Transfer the ribs to direct heat and brush with bbq sauce on both sides. Grill uncovered for 5-10 minutes then remove.
To Bake Ribs
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Bake ribs for 2 ½ hours. Check to see if they are incredibly tender. If not, leave covered and allow to bake an additional 30-45 minutes. The ribs should have an internal temperature of 145°F for food safety. Desired internal temperature 175 to 180 degrees F., for tender ribs.
- Drain the excess fat from the ribs then apply bbq sauce to both sides.
- Turn your oven on to broil and allow the sauce to stick to the ribs then remove. Broil 5 minutes bone side down after basting with BBQ sauce. Brushed with sauce a second time and broiled until lightly browned and bubbly.
- You can even broil for a few minutes to get them super sticky.
When ready to serve
- Once rib tips are cooled for about 5-7 minutes, chop into smaller pieces and serve.